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Give blood or platelets with Red Cross ahead of hectic holiday weeks


Fri, Dec 9th 2022 12:15 pm

$10 Amazon.com gift card or T-shirt for donors this month

Submitted by the American Red Cross

As more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the American Red Cross asks donors to set aside a time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays.

Throughout the season, several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.

Travel: According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.

Seasonal illness: The U.S. is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.

Weather: Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.

It’s important for donors − especially type-O blood donors and platelet donors − to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year. Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross blood donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all who come to give blood through Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card by email, thanks to Amazon. Those who come to give Dec. 16-Jan. 2 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/together.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 9-31:

Erie County


  • Dec. 14, 21, 28: noon to 6 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive
  • Dec. 24, 31: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive


  • Dec. 10: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dr Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School, 1 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
  • Dec. 14: noon to 6 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave.


  • Dec. 27: 1-6 p.m., St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church Father Weber Center, 1700 N. French Road

•Grand Island

  • Dec. 12: 1-6 p.m., Grand Island Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road
  • Dec. 27: noon to 5 p.m., Grand Island Firehall, 2275 Baseline Road


  • Dec. 13: 1-6 p.m., VFW Post 1419 – Hamburg, 2985 Lakeview Road

•Orchard Park

  • Dec. 16: 1-6 p.m., St. Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church, 5930 S. Abbott Road
  • Dec. 21: 2-7 p.m., Orchard Park Community Activity Center, 4520 California Road


  • Dec. 10: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Church of the Nativity, 1530 Colvin Blvd.

•West Seneca

  • Dec. 20: noon to 5 p.m., Union Fire Co., 1845 Union Road

Niagara County


  • Dec. 21: 1:30-6:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga St.


  • Dec. 13: 1-6 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.
  • Dec. 23: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wrights Corners Fire Co. Station 1, 4043 Lake Ave.
  • Dec. 30: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.


  • Dec. 19: 1-6 p.m., Middleport Firehall, 28 Main St.

•Niagara Falls

  • Dec. 17: 8 a.m. to noon, Grace Lutheran Church, 736 Cayuga Drive


  • Dec. 15: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wilson High School Library, 412 Lake St.


  • Dec. 27: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Youngstown Firehall, 625 3rd St.

How to Donate Blood

Simply download the American Red Cross blood donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the blood donor skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the blood donor app.

Amplify Your Impact − Volunteer!

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.

Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information or to apply for either position, call 716-886-7500, email [email protected], or visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit on Twitter at @RedCross.

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